by Megan Burbank
Last year, a QTBIPOC-led coalition of birth doulas lobbied for a road to certification and reimbursement under Medicaid in Washington State — and won. By broadening access to doula support, the group hopes to improve birth outcomes among communities most affected by America’s ongoing perinatal health crisis. “That is the reason why we were trying to get Medicaid reimbursement,” said Senait Brown, policy director at Surge Reproductive Justice, which facilitated the Doulas for All Coalition. “Reimbursement is not the goal. Ending the Black and Indigenous perinatal health crisis is the goal.”
Continue reading Last Year, Birth Doulas Fought for Medicaid Reimbursement. Now, They’re Making It a Reality
by Megan Burbank
The reversal of Roe v. Wade last summer catalyzed major electoral wins for Democrats nationwide and brought a slate of bills protecting abortion access to the Washington State Legislature. But at the time, it wasn’t clear the momentum would last — or translate to meaningful, sustainable change. Now that this year’s legislative session has wrapped, with Gov. Jay Inslee signing off on a slate of new protections for reproductive health, we have a better idea of what’s in store. Here are the policies that made it to the governor’s desk and what they mean for the future of abortion rights and gender-affirming care in the Northwest.
Continue reading OPINION | The Legislative Session Is Over. Here’s How Washington Lawmakers Strengthened Abortion Rights
by Misha Werschkul
Public schools are foundational to community well-being, and I’m proud to be a public school parent. Over the past few weeks, I have loved seeing my daughter — along with thousands of students at more than a dozen schools — participate in the Move-A-Thon fundraiser with the Southeast Seattle Schools Fundraising Alliance. Her fundraising pitch focused on how much she loves her teachers and how fun it was to do all the activities on the Move-A-Thon bingo board.
Continue reading OPINION | Capital Gains Tax Decision Is a Huge Win for Our Kids
by Lauryn Bray
In 2021, the Washington State Legislature passed HB 1054, a bill aimed at reducing the number of fatalities from vehicular pursuits by stating guidelines for which criminal offenses warrant police pursuit. Since its implementation, data shows that fatalities from vehicular pursuits have lowered significantly. However, a recent bill in the Senate, SB 5352, may roll back some of these guidelines and make it easier for officers to initiate a vehicular pursuit.
Continue reading Washington State Senate Passes Bill That May Change Guidelines for Police Pursuit
by Nafkot Nurga, RN
The desire to have a child is one of the most fundamental aspects of being human. Infertility, which affects 1 in 8 couples in the United States, is a disease that robs us of this basic drive. Studies have confirmed that the stigma and psychological impact of suffering from infertility is comparable to that of suffering from cancer. Even though 90% of infertility cases can be overcome through medical treatments, fertility treatment — because of the high costs — is a privilege only affluent Americans can afford. To address this inequity, Washington State legislators should pass House Bill 1151 — currently being debated — which would require health plans sold in Washington to cover fertility services.
Continue reading OPINION | It’s Time for Washington Lawmakers to Pass an Infertility Treatment Mandate
by Lauryn Bray
The Washington Community Alliance (WCA) recently released its annually updated interactive data set on the demographics of Washington’s local elected officials. The data set identifies each representative by name, position in office, race/ethnicity, and gender, as well as comparing the racial demographics of elected officials to those of the populations they serve. The new data indicates that Washington’s Legislature became more diverse after the 2022 midterm elections. However, legislative bodies are still unrepresentative, at 81% white and 57.1% male, compared to statewide demographics of 63.7% white.
Continue reading New Data Indicates That Washington’s Legislature Became More Representative
by Agueda Pacheco Flores
At a public hearing for the Washington State Legislature’s Government and Tribal Relations Committee earlier this month, Chezik Tsunoda recalled how it was silent when her 3-year-old son drowned.
Continue reading Water Safety Day Proposed to Bring Awareness to Drowning Prevention
by Ashley Archibald
(This article was originally published on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
When an unmasked Gov. Jay Inslee announced the end of the coronavirus state of emergency after more than two years, he did so with matter-of-fact language. Language for a boardroom.
Continue reading On Oct. 31, Get Ready to Welcome … the New Normal!
by Kevin Schofield
This weekend’s reading starts with an item hot off the presses: a ruling from the Washington State Supreme Court this week. The case concerns a man convicted by a jury of second-degree robbery and sentenced to 63 months in prison for the crime.
Continue reading Weekend Reads: Inequitable Impacts of the Sentencing Reform Act